Top 10 Best Android Smartwatches Buyer’s Guide – October 2016

Despite the fact that Android Wear 2.0 has been delayed until next year, there will be a lot of people looking to get a smartwatch for the Holidays, either for themselves, for others or just as a treat for themselves. As such, there's a lot of smartwatches that are available and some new ones are just around the corner, making the Fall an interesting time to purchase a smartwatch, regardless of whether or not the new version of Android Wear is here or not. From Samsung to names like Nixon, there's a lot of variety available these days.

10. Fossil Q Founder

The Fossil Q Founder has been on our list for a long, long time now, and for good reason. With an Intel CPU and no heart rate monitor, as well as a flat tire look to it, it could be easy to write off the Q Founder as a poor first effort from Fossil. Instead, this ends up being a classic watch for those that want a good-looking watch, with the features of an everyday smartwatch. There's no heart rate monitor or built-in GPS, but then again it's too bulky to go for a run with anyway, so the Fossil Q Founder is something of a give and take experiment. One that might only appeal to those looking for a bulky watch in a world of more technologically-focused designs. It looks classic, and will look great on the wrist of practically anybody.

09. Motorola Moto 360 - 2nd Gen

The original Moto 360 did the unthinkable, it turned an unsightly design flaw into a feature and one that they kept for the second-generation of the Moto 360. In this second-generation, Motorola also added in a number of customization options, including new straps, optional knurling and two different sizes for better comfort. This is the sort of smartwatch that is fashionable as well as it is functional, with a built-in heart rate monitor and a sharp display, despite the flat tire design that they kept here. With inventory dwindling, and a follow-up nowhere to be seen though, it might not be the best time to purchase Motorola's second effort. Regardless, those looking for a modern, stylish timepiece won't be disappointed by the Moto 360, so long as they get it in the configuration they really want, that is.

08. Fossil Q Marshall and Fossil Q Wander

Fossil are back for 2016 with the Fossil Q Wander on the left and the Fossil Q Marshall on the right, and while one is merely an evolution of the Q Founder, the other is a new design altogether. The Q Marshall on the right almost reminds me of a first-generation Moto 360 with some lugs attached to it, which isn't surprising given that these come with the same flat tire design that the Moto 360 does. On the inside here is a new Snapdragon Wear 2100 CPU as well as some more custom Fossil watch faces, which are pretty good-looking in person. For their price, these are, again, decidedly fashion-first smartwatches. With no heart rate monitor or built-in GPS, these are the sort of watches that will look good on someone's wrist, but perhaps not do everything they want them to do.

07. Polar M600

If you're looking for a smartwatch that has many of the fitness features that you'd want in such a device, but also a robust and well-supported smartwatch platform then the Polar M600 is a good option. It's packed full of the accurate heart rate tracking we've come to expect from Polar, and it also has some excellent fitness apps for running and other cardio exercise. It looks good, if not a little on the chunky side of things. Thanks to Android Wear, there are all kinds of different apps that users can use to make great use of the excellent heart rate monitor here. It might be a little on the pricey side of things, but for serious fitness fanatics, the price will be worth it.

06. Moto 360 Sport

If you're in the market for something that offers all manner of sporty features, but won't swallow your wrist, Motorola have the option for you. The Moto 360 Sport is a simple, modern looking and feeling smartwatch that has all sorts of niceties under-the-hood. A quality heart rate sensor is one of them, but on top of that, the svelte silicon strap and build make for a modern appealing smartwatch that won't break the bank. It's not going to win any points with those that want to change their straps a lot, but that's not really the audience that this is designed for. Instead, the Moto 360 sport is designed for the active people out there looking for a smartwatch to match.

05. Nixon Mission

The Nixon Mission is a fully-circular, Snapdragon Wear 2100 powered smartwatch that's on the chunkier side of life. It is however, designed for those looking to go surfing and snowing with their smartwatch and track their routes as a result. As such, the Mission is certified for us as low as 10ATM, and is built to withstand more than a few knocks here and there. It's a good-looking watch, and will appeal to those with larger wrists, as well as those looking for something they can go swimming with. The mic lock system makes sure that users can go surfing with the watch, and the Nixon branding is subtle but appreciated here. With a myriad of different straps as well as different bezel options, the Mission has a lot of the right boxes ticked, it is however, a little on the pricier side of things.

04. Michael Kors Access Collection

Available in Bradshaw and Dylan varieties, the Michael Kors Access Collection represent the designer's first entry into the world of smartwatches. We reviewed the Bradshaw recently, and found it to be an excellent, good-looking smartwatch that a few issues when it came to battery life as well as value for money. The main attraction here is the overall look and feel and of course the name Michael Kors itself. With no heart rate sensor, but the new Snapdragon Wear 2100 CPU on the inside, these are a compromise between form and function, but they should appeal to the majority of people out there, for sure.

03. Samsung Gear S2

When the Gear S2 was first announced, it was hailed as an impressive smartwatch that ticked all of the right boxes and was one of the few Samsung products that worked with any and all Android smartphones. We liked the Gear S2 in our review, and with a good-looking fully-circular display and a smart, rotating bezel design, Samsung have practically nailed it here. Even so, there are a few hiccups here and there, not least with the different models and the ability to change straps and such, as well as modern look that certainly wouldn't appeal to everyone. Which is probably why they made another version of the Gear S...

02. Huawei Watch 

Amid reports that Huawei is looking to ditch Android Wear in their next version of the Huawei Watch, the original is still going strong. One of the few Android Wear watches that can make and take phone calls, as well as one of the few that has as many customization options as this, the Huawei Watch ticks a lot of the right boxes. It is still a little on the pricey side, but given that Huawei wanted to make a timepiece that was also a smartwatch, and have included a heart rate sensor, WiFi as well as an excellent build and design that wouldn't look out of place coming from Switzerland, it's no surprise this is a pricey smartwatch. With better options hopefully on their way in 2017, this is still not a bad option to have for right now.

01. Samsung Gear S3

If the Gear S2 was Samsung's entry into the world of stylish smartwatches, the Gear S3 is their way of showing that they do it better than anyone else. The Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier might not be available to purchase just yet, but recent sightings online suggest they're going up for sale any moment. With an improved software feature set, an even better design and build, both of these models are some of the best-looking smartwatches out there. During their announcement, Samsung made a big deal of the fact that the firm had partnered with Swiss watch designers and used many of the same materials. As such, it's no surprise that Samsung have outdone themselves once again in the design department.

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About the Author
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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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